i don't think I liked this week

SPOILER ALERT:

Here is a preview of the video that will play in the gallery. I recently found out that my best friend from home and her soon-to-be step sister read my blog every week, so I hope this sneak peek doesn't ruin it for a bunch of people who want to see it at the gallery show. 

This week was weird. There are a few edits to make to video still, but overall I'm really happy with it. We spent the majority of this week applying for residencies and festivals. It was good to spend some time refining our writing about the project. I think that will be helpful in concluding the written thesis. We also de-installed everything from the house and put everything back in its place. That took a long time, but it was really nice to see everything return to its home. I forgot that it looked so different before we started! I'm really ready to move into the gallery now!!! 

Not a ton to show for this week... We moved into the house on Monday and got interviewed by Levi on Wednesday. Outside of class, we worked on grant apps and worked on planning a workshop for the Onward day of workshops. Onwards!

The show happened!

I'm so tired! But the show was awesome. It really went off without a hitch this time. No technical difficulties, no weirdos barging in to interrupt us. Some paprika was dropped, broken glass on the floor, but that was pretty much the worst of it! Check out the first round of pictures below! More photo and video to come. We are meeting with our videographer Matt on Wednesday night to talk through the cuts of the show. It seems like we got a lot of interesting footage. 

I still need some time to process the meaning of the show and think about how the experience of performing it translates to the gallery show. Every performance was SO different. It felt like each person's experience of the piece was based off of their understandings of family and home. Many people surprised me with how much they took away from it. Friends whom I expected to laugh sometimes didn't. I think some friends found it darker than we did... There were two performances without much laughter and four performances with super giggly audience members. The turn out was super cool. I learned a lot about my own personal endurance abilities as I watched our energy levels rise and fall from performance to performance. Especially within the 15 minute portions where people were wandering through the house, it felt like we were so busy at first, always turning something on or off, doing a chore, staying in character, but by the second night we all felt so at home within the piece and within the space. I know there is a lot to think through that I haven't yet. I'm excited to write it all down for the written conclusion of the thesis. Right now, I'm tired and sore and all bruised. We also put forth such extreme emotional vulnerability that I feel afraid to judge some of what happened. That said, I'm going to try and make a list of some meaningful moments. 

-The paprika braking on the floor, we stayed in character, swept it up... many people asked if it was intentional...

-acting as silent ghost vs. pouty baby ghost vs. best friend non verbal communication ghost vs. disciplinary parent ghost vs. old unaware grandparent ghost

-each audience was so different (strongest reactions: audiences 1 and 3 on night two, weakest reactions: audience 2 on night one)

-I kept hearing people say "this reminds me of _______." Mostly they said it reminded them of their grandparents' house. I loved eavesdropping in on the whispers. 

-When Mia and I started messing with Phoebe Gloeckner and friend by repeating them

-Pancakes, talking with food in my mouth, "GOLDBERG FAMILY IT'S TIME FOR DINNER."

-Humming while brushing my teeth, making sweet eye contact with Spencer from in/outside the bathroom

-Hiding in the bathtub and whispering at folks

-Hearing Rebecca Rosen sing the lullaby melody on her way out

-Realizing minutes before 10 pm on the second night that I should have been dangling my feet the whole time

-E whispering "we would raise such beautiful children" to Mia during pancake making time, cracking up about it at the after party

-Talking to John about liminal space and graduation afterwards, realizing he got that info indirectly from us, from Sage and Alayna

-Molly and Joe (my siblings) poking and prodding at me from the top of the stairs just like siblings should. Molly not quite understanding it at first, asking me what to laugh at, coming back and actually kind of liking it... Talking so loudly the whole time. 

-Changing up the delivery of the lines each time, direct eye contact address to cute little audience members

-Patrick's ex wife laughing at the bathroom anecdotes

-Inviting people to climb into the nest with me, listening to their reactions once they got inside, making shadow puppet shows on the wall. 

-Wishing people goodnight and sweet dreams as they left

-Falling in love with one another all over again all the time

-Asking Emma for water and pancakes from the living room to the kitchen. 

-Finagling the ending and the audience objects portions until they were smooth at the end

-Improvising and having fun together

-Getting positive feedback from Patrick

-Realizing that my Uncle had used a pseudonym to reserve a spot for the first show, feeling dreamy realizing he was sitting outside the window, feeling special when he gave me the fuse that blew during his first show (they had to cancel/postpone too). 

-Harmonizing, or not getting the harmonies, during the "What is happening" grace/song. 

-Tearing up during the final incantation realizing that everything is nearing its end, hoping we can somehow continue. 

-Feeling accomplished afterwards, smiling.

-Not being able to talk to people afterwards like you usually would during a performance. 

 

I think that's what I have for now. There is more to say. More later.

blogging

This week was about power.

The power went out at 910 Sunset Road. The power of the weather did it. And then, with great reluctance to do so, we had the power to postpone the show and we took advantage of said power. There is so much in the show about power too. As we performed a makeshift, low-tech version of the show for our parents, many of which came to town this weekend to see Household, I realized all the power dynamics within it. I felt the haunting. It felt good to show them what we'd been working on, even in the freezing cold house without lights, projectors, speakers, etc. We rescheduled the performance for the public on March 24th and 25th and reservations are coming in. Even though some amazing people won't get to see it, it was good that we prioritized everyone's safety. It was waaay too cold and dark in the house to have the show. And now, we have the next week or and a bit to tighten transitions and plan out the show's transition into the gallery. It might even be nicer to transfer artifacts directly from the house into the gallery without any waiting in between time cluttered in the studio. It was great to get feedback from family and friends from out of town. It was a little unfair that we made them sit through the cold performance, but I'm secretly glad they got to see the show before everyone else! Ooh, another thing on the bright side of this unfortunate situation is that I got to go to the DIA with my family today. 

With all that said, I do hope our luck improves in the coming days and weeks. We are overcoming each obstacle with a sort of clumsy grace, but they still feel like obstacles. We are crying sometimes and getting tense other times, but mostly we are just sticking together and making each other feel better. I'm so excited to show everyone what we've rehearsed and installed. Giving a preview and having extra rehearsal time made me feel much more prepared and excited to put our process on display. 

I'm also really excited because this week I have a job interview, I have a physical therapy check up for my neck, and on Thursday I'm going to Omaha for my cousin's Bar Mitzvah. I'm so excited to see my whole family at home home! I also have plans to attend the Applied Mechanics FEED workshop with UMS. My NELP instructor Becky Wright emailed me asking me to come and told me to bring Call Your Mom. I'm going to try my best to get everyone to come, but I understand that folks are often busy. I'm a little behind in my Printmaking class. The power outage and my parent's visit made it difficult to get to North Campus for long enough to turn in my assignment that was due, but my professor was nice about  it. 

Other than that, hmmm... I'm very excited for what is to come.

blog blog blog all day long

hey. I don't feel like writing today. Can I do something else instead? I keep putting myself out there as a WRITER... like a straight up writer, not interdisciplinary or performed or anything. And I keep falling on my face. Failing is good. It doesn't feel good, but it is good. I love my ideas and the way they sit inside my head. On paper they hurt, myself and others sometimes. They aren't understood the way I want them to be understood. Is that about the audience? Is that about the time spent? Is that about the endless sense of misunderstanding in this world? My head makes sense to me. My written thought is verbose and often overly poetic. See there. My written thought is assonant, slam. Uh huh. I am simultaneously mimicking Lin Manuel Miranda and trying to get as far away from Broadway as possible. The world doesn't need all my self-pity and instability these days. It has its own, but anyway. I will keep writing. I will keep writing because it helps me with control. I love to abandon and rediscover the innards of a sentence until it says what I mean (at least for the moment). That's why I will not give up writing. 

SO, THESIS. HMmmmm. We were in the house this past week. I don't feel "at home" there, which is a good thing I suppose. It made me worried about texture and color. It made me think about presence, death, legacy, nonexistence. I don't always like the way it smells there, but I still felt comfortable and peaceful many times throughout the duration of our stay/dog sit. I want Heather in the real thing... the show. Also, being there and rummaging through the political archive (combined with, you know, the news) makes me think this show needs more opinion, perspective, politic, beyond us. We don't want to embarrass the Kelley family with our little blindspot. What's in a home anyway, when we are all struggling to feel at home on a much larger scale. The house part has so much to do with our personal experiences and could have nothing to do with someone else's. Maybe it's becoming about letting go of a more material based attachment to memory. And replacing that nostalgia with new tactility and sensorial awareness. Blah blah. I'm tired of the academy and its language. I'm never going to actually know what this show is about.

It's called Household now. I love that title. I love the word hold and its multiple meanings. mmm. hold it, hold on, on hold, hold me, hold on me, hold onto me... etc. i feel so much comfort in double meanings. They might be my favorite thing. I hope the work ends up doing the cute/sad name some justice. 

This house/gallery show should have:

squishy goop in pastel colors

more gender neutral yellow as a dig to the whole "do you want to know the sex of the baby" thing... like what is the sex of the baby. The baby is gonna have prepubescent genitals and the baby isn't gonna know shit about sex unless someone gives it time and lessons. P.s. all genitals are actually really fucking similar. I see this in the powerplay installation and in the Adirondack room (that's what the family calls it)

bathtub stuff... gross bathtub stuff

PERFORMANCE: history, resist her, resistor, resist her, re-sister, he histories, his histories.... yeah sure more wordplay. always more word play. I want to work on the passing piece, the socks piece, and the arm knitting piece in the near near future.

I know I'm gonna love this show. I trust these people with my whole life. AND I just found out how they can all sing (like ANGELS)! Can't wait to move toward more music + cym. We recorded the lullaby with doug the other day. It seems like we are all so happy with it. Or at least I am. Singing makes me happier than everything else. And we've been told we have a natural blend. I'm meeting with doug again to record the solo parts. I think the fade from solo mom lullaby to group motherly lullaby will intensify the concept. I'm hardcore psyched about the nest room. 

BIG things we got done this week:

RENAME!

Posters, facebook event, promo

Building embroidery projection boxes

Recording lullaby

Video for gallery with Matt

 

Yeah other things kind of on our minds:

Written thesis meeting with Allie next week

(neu now?)

Creative Alliance residency in Baltimore

Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha

PROTESTS ALL OVER THE PLACE. Attending those protests! Quit school? Jk. Not yet.

Bad and Nasty Performance

Juried Undergrad Exhibition Video Install

honoring the Kelley family

mental health... back to therapy

space, time management, healthy relationships

post college jobs for all (meaningful, impactful shit i.e. NOT TFA)

planning for the two weekends in March that I might be out of town. yeah yeah yeah. It will be FINE. 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this country just a house of a country? hmm. home?

We've been sleeping over at 901 Sunset most of this week with Heather the dog. She's a dreamboat dog. The house is really haunted though. I'm sure of it. Fog covers its street, up its hill and over. The split level staircase creaks as no one descends. Deer crunch the forest leaves between the sunroom, the archive, and the highway. The furnace bubbles in the closet and steams across the entrance. A woman with a single flickering candle walks alone down Sunset past the towering water treatment plant. Over morning coffee in the glass room, Eliza and I discuss how easy it would be for someone working at a water treatment plant to secretly poison everyone without anyone noticing. The barbed wire and the sinister light shiver me inside my late-January parka. Nathan and I walk Heather on Saturday at midnight and he tells me it feels like Halloween outside. We spot an unwavering light in the sky and call it Jupiter for the rest of the night. A group of five joggers pass me in unbroken formation the next morning. A retrograde motion type slowing occurs to me as they visit and then advance. They converse with one another as though running doesn't affect the lungs. I mutter "Sunset Road" under my breath and shake my head to myself. One house is built of Adobe painted bright yellow. Across the street, an annex sits in a coat of painted grey that suggests an inmate--someone held captive inside. It's something about the blue grey and its angles. There's also a yard that sits on this street with a highback, full bucket baby swing hanging from a tree straight above a man made fire pit. Does someone have plans to burn the baby? (My sister fell into a fire pit on a birthday because she was backing away from the celebration candles).

And the archive. The two keys to its America red door hang behind the useless violin shaped object in the kitchen. The red key goes to the top lock and the blue key goes to the bottom. I shouldn't be telling anyone about this, but the door says  "Virtual Museum. Imperfect, full of promises." or something along those lines. I open the door to this space for the first time by myself. I'm saluted by the 44th president of the United States, directly behind the door in cardboard cut out form and surrounded by noteworthy red, white, and blue clutter across towering ivory walls. The naive, untried cardboard Clintons are there too. This space itself is the size of a house. Hillary's expression can't seem to take up the amount of space it wants to. We're both intimidated by the powerful men and their counterfeit faces. Not today. I mouth "Holy shit" a few times to myself before I sprint inside to retrieve Eliza and Mia. First, I backtrack to take another look at it all. Mugs, bumperstickers on the ceiling's beam, disintegrating bonnets stitched with rallying cries for women's suffrage. It all seems sickeningly appropriate. Michelle with her bicep flexed, riveting, "Yes We Can." Can we? She can. T-shirts, baseball caps. All American. A welcoming, elderly (senile) voting booth almost flaunts how analog it is. It asks "Should we spend $90,000 dollars to build a new prison?", "Should we spend it on a new school?" It hurts to know the questions haven't changed since who knows when. I chuckle at a photo of George W. holding binoculars with the lens caps still on. Then, I don't chuckle anymore. Were minstrelsy dolls once actually involved in the US presidential campaign? Apparently. Is that the haunting? That the existential questions about punishment, and color, and education never change because we shan't overcome the limitations of our nature? Nasty. Abominable. Offensive. God Awful. Rotten. Disagreeable. Corrupt. How much money will some museum board of rich folks eventually pay to obtain these signatures and campaign buttons? I open the unused fridge and find a metaphor--decomposing gourds and Coca-Cola. Fuck. Haha. Almost too good. 

wild work week w/ marathon @ anya's

links:

log for anya's residency

real talk contortions script

creative alliance baltimore application

future plans

instagram

 

this week in pictures! we went to the house and spent many hours at anya's. we will also be living and sleeping at 910 sunset road thursday-thursday next week which is like wahoooooooo!!! dog sitting for the win. patrick is getting real open and generous. being there is very very motivating. I think the essence of this home will clarify when we go to sleep there, watch the sunset there, bathe, for example, and/or cook ourselves breakfast in this false home. the more time we spend there, the more our aesthetic vision melds with the space... in a good way! we are not letting our ideas give way to what already exists there. we are honoring its history in additive and subtractive ways, emphasizing and hiding different elements to get at the specificity and the sweetness of this home! good stuff. here's some pics of us real talk contorting and such:

 

 

 

 

pdf for john luther

a big part of the workload this week! 

 

Emma Bergman

Sophie Goldberg

Mia Massimino

Integrative Project Student Pre-review Submission Material:

Call Your Mom’s A House

THESIS STATEMENT

A House is a collaborative gallery show that employs live art, video, audio, and sculpture to question structures of home and family. Emma Bergman, Sophie Goldberg, Mia Massimino, and Eliza Cadoux are “playing house,” creating works in our studios and in an Ann Arbor house that reveal flaws in mythologies of home. The gallery show will come from this experimentation as we reflect on the the history of the house and our personal histories to create a tense but familiar feeling of home.

CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION

Live Performance

Chicago, Judy, and Miriam Schapiro. Womanhouse. 1972. Print.

This performance helped us frame a clearer picture of how audience members will move through the installation. It gave us a precedent of other critical women’s work about domestic femininity.

Smith, Anna Deavere. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. New York City: Doubleday, 1994. Print.

This performer’s interview based research and one woman, monologue style informed our practice.

Tiravanija, Rirkrit. Untitled (Free). 1992. Food. MoMa, 303 Gallery.
We want to work off this artist’s impulse to transform an artistic space into a feeding space to illustrate the artistry of cooking and communal eating.

Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Dir. The Neo-Futurists. Chicago. Performance.

The Neofuturist’s episodic style and audience interaction techniques inspired the personalized entrance to the installation and the brevity of the pieces within the live performance element.

Literature

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston, MA: Beacon, 1994. Print.
Bachelard’s philosophies on partially enclosed, inward facing spaces, like nooks, forts, and corners, influenced the accessibility and personal nature of the installation.

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.

Bechdel’s multifaceted approach to perspective in family storytelling have an influence on the way we will portray our family history. Her techniques taught us that no story is one sided and she showed us creative ways to get out of our own heads.

Botton, Alain De. The Architecture of Happiness. New York: Pantheon, 2006. Print.
Botton discusses architecture through the lens of a non-architect. He muses on the feelings spaces create in ways that are accessible to those who have not studied architecture. We are inspired by his explanation of spaces having control over human emotions.

Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.

Schechner describes the balance between art and life and clearly states that that balance can be achieved and highlighted in immersive theatre performance.

Zumthor, Peter, Maureen Oberli-Turner,and Catherine Schelbert. Thinking Architecture. Basel: BirkhaÌ user, 2006. Print.

Zumthor discusses how all architectural understanding comes from past memories and experiences within architectural spaces. For example when he thinks of a kitchen he cannot help but think of his grandmother’s kitchen and his experiences there. We are inspired by Zumthor’s ideas of recalling past experiences with space and how that can be applied to how people interact with A House both in its experimentation and gallery forms.

Lecture

Schweder, Alex. "Performance Architecture." Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. The Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor. 22 Sept. 2016. Lecture.
Schweder discussed the ways in which architecture is performative and examined the intersection between these two seemingly separate disciplines. As performers creating an immersive installation, we are drawing from his idea that spatial relationships can invite action.

Visual Art

Jenkins, Amy. Ebb. 1996. Amy Jenkins. Web.
Jenkins’ projection work and focus on domestic spaces inspired our desire to use projection in smaller, more intimate ways.

Neto, Ernesto. O Bicho Suspenso Na Paisajem. 2011. 2011. Faena Arts Center. Universes in Universe. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Neto’s large scale fibers installations inspired us to incorporate a playful, inviting nature into our sculptures.

Satrapi, Marjane, and Taina Aarne. Persepolis Marjane Satrapi. Helsinki: Like., 2007. Print. This graphic novel’s distinct style inspired us to work with bold and graphic techniques for the series of postcard prints.

Conversations

Nick Tobier

Holly Hughes

Howard White

Emilia White

Candace Moore

Ruth Burke

WORKING METHODS

This project is part of a continued collaboration called Call Your Mom. Call Your Mom is a performance family founded in an ethic of compassion. For the past three years, we have collaborated to create multi-media performances that combine visual art and performing arts to test the boundaries of relationships. Because this is a continued collaboration, we already have a distinct practice and making style. We spend our studio time meeting as a group based on self-driven objectives. A typical Call Your Mom meeting has five parts: “life update/show update,” adjustment, “making time,” logistics, and assignments. We structure our meetings this way to get emotionally and artistically in tune with each other. Our familiarity with each others modes helps us determine what we will be able to accomplish. We also make sure to update each other on what we are excited about, new things we have encountered that have inspired us since we last met, and ways we are thinking about different elements of the project. From there we move into our agenda for that day. The tasks on our to do list range from solidifying choreography to doing a timed writing prompt to applying for a grant. Based on the life and show updates, we determine whether we are all mentally prepared to work on what we scheduled and whether it is still our top priority. Then we adjust and move to “making time,” time we allot ourselves to actually complete the items on our agenda. This is the meat of the meeting. After we make, we move into logistics. We discuss our next meeting time and what becomes our next priority. Did we get as far as we wanted to get on this task? Is there another opportunity or deadline that we need to address? Do we need some time to simply move around, improvise, and create next meeting or is it crunch time for something? Once we plan our next meeting, we address things we each need to do outside of our allotted rehearsal time. Does someone need to buy materials? Do we need to assign a collective writing prompt on a topic we are working on in our next meeting? We leave the meeting trusting, from experience, that each person will uphold their commitment to the collaboration and come prepared to our next meeting.

PROJECT DIRECTION

In the next 3 and a half months we will be solidifying the installation and performance experiments in the house. We will perform in the experimentation space and document the audience’s interactions with the space. From here we will combine our vision of the gallery space with the information we gather from the performance and install our temporary home into the gallery.

QUESTIONS

Do our positions on home transcend our personal perspectives?

How can we best communicate the value of our collaboration in order to receive funding and other opportunities?

What is the best way get maximum documentation of the house from our initial iteration without interrupting the audience’s experience?

What elements of home are incompatible with a gallery space? How can we creatively remedy these incompatibilities?

How can we make each audience member’s experience unique to their upbringing while maintaining a sense of universality and autobiography?

How do we compartmentalize the gallery in a way that references the rooms in a house?

How can we combine the political history of the family that owns the house to best illustrate that familial relationships are inherently political?

How can we find cohesion between the pieces that have been inspired by separate rooms in the house, once they move into an open gallery space?

How do we invite people into our assigned gallery spaces as hosts?
How do we bring to life the interactive elements of the experimentation in the gallery space?